Community bands together for children’s holiday party
LOWER POTTSGROVE >> They say it takes a village to raise a child.
In this case, it took a town to bring 300 some Christmas cheer.
On Dec. 15, over 600 people packed into Sunnybrook Ballroom in Lower Pottsgrove to celebrate the holidays at the 35th annual Holiday Party for children. Presents could be seen piled near multiple trees throughout the ballroom as guests enjoyed some food and company at the festive event.
“Today we have 300 children coming to this party,” said Jim Frymoyer, who organizes the event every year. “This party started 35 years ago at the Moose Lodge. We had 75 children. We have over 300 children this year and thanks to the Sunnybrook Ballroom we were able to have this party.”
By 11 a.m., the event’s start time, over 600 people had made their way inside. Guests were welcome to a variety of food and drink as well as loads of activities for the kids in attendance. Children enjoyed face painting, a magic show, balloon animals, presents from Santa and more.
The event has grown substantially in just the past year. Last year, the party welcomed just over 150 children. On Dec. 15, that number was doubled to 300 children.
And it’s not just the kids that have grown in numbers. More and more area businesses and organizations are taking part in the event. Frymoyer partnered with the NAACP Pottstown Chapter as well as with Sunnybrook Ballroom, Comfort Inn and several other area businesses to make the party possible. Over a dozen bicycles were donated by area churches and police departments.
“We couldn’t have done this without the help of the community, the police departments, the businesses. You have to give from the heart and that’s what each and every one of us do, give from the heart,” said Frymoyer.
Wanting to give to the community is exactly what brought so many more organizations into the mix.
“What I love about it is this is what Pottstown is about and this is what the NAACP’s mission is about, to connect people of different organizations together and show the real Pottstown. You look around and see all these different diverse groups of people. This is Pottstown,” said Johnny Corson, president of the NAACP Pottstown Chapter.
It was through the NAACP that Frymoyer was able to get in touch with Charles Gulati, owner of Sunnybrook Ballroom, to host the party there.
“For the last year or so we’ve been trying to do something nice for the kids around the holidays. We tried to do something last year and it didn’t quite work out so I was introduced to Jim through Johnny Corson. Jim came in and I absolutely loved his idea, loved his passion for what he does. So we signed on right away and said, ‘Let’s make it a great event,’” said Gulati. “We are so blessed to have so many people from the community come out to help.”
And the community work doesn’t stop there. On Dec. 21, volunteers gathered at the Pottstown YMCA to pack up food boxes for 150 families that will include a holiday ham or turkey with all the trimmings.
“I’m just so thankful for the NAACP and the people that donated to this project,” Frymoyer said tearing up. “Next year we’ll make it bigger and better. I keep doing this year after year because the need is there and there’s not a child or parent in here today that, as they walked out, didn’t say thank you. I’ll be doing this until the day I die.”
All sorts of Christmas characters showed up at Sunnybrook Ballroom Dec. 15 to have some fun during the annual holiday party for children.
Kids were all smiles Dec. 15 as they watched a magic show during the 35th annual holiday party for children at Sunnybrook Ballroom.
Kids smiled and laughed as they watched a magic show at Sunnybrook Ballroom. The show was part of the 35th annual holiday party for children.
Kids had a blast participating in a magic show during the annual holiday party for children. The magic show was just one of the activities planned for kids at the party.
Kids were treated to a variety of activities at the 35th annual holiday party for children. Activities included face painting, balloon animals and magic shows.
Face painting was a popular station during the 35th annual holiday party for children.